I don’t always run, but when I do, it’s for stress relief.
Last night I needed it big time. It was just one of those days. Mason took an impossibly short nap at daycare and was a little touchy (to put it very lightly) by the time we got him home, and then dinner took way too long to prepare (way too long=any amount of time whatsoever when you’re starving after work). Small grievances that add up to something big.
Then, when I got on the treadmill and flipped on the TV, I discovered a bonus stress-reliever: CHRISTMAS MOVIES.
I watched about 15 minutes of one during my run, and it was so cheesy and so predictable and so perfect. I love you, Hallmark—never change.
Anyway. I’m feeling much better today. And what I’m actually here today to talk about is Paleo.
I’ve been listening to BB a lot lately, since I first downloaded a bunch of fitness podcasts for my daily commute (seriously, the commute is one of my favorite parts of the day now, just because of that). And it’s been great—Liz and Diane are entertaining, if a little all-over-the-place, and they seem to really know their stuff.
One problem: listening to this podcast makes me feel like a 4th grader walking into a grad school lecture. There is so much information that’s new to me, or that I don’t have a firm opinion on yet, that it makes me feel completely out of my element.
I don’t pretend to know everything about nutrition (far from it), but I like to think that I know the basics, and I at least thought I knew where I stood on most of the trends and “lifestyles” out there right now.
But, man. Paleo is really throwing me.
It’s not that I don’t understand the general concepts of Paleo, or that I ever doubted its healthiness. Eating real food, going heavy on protein, going light on grains (or skipping grains), cutting out processed junk, caring about where your food comes from—sure, that’s all good stuff. I’m behind it 100%.
It’s all the other details of Paleo that I feel totally uninformed about. The cod liver oil, organ meat, bone broth, fermented foods…aka “traditional foods” or “things that sound totally disgusting.” Super crunchy stuff that’s way out of my league right now.
And to be honest, I’m just not sure how I feel about all the red meat and fat.
Even if I don’t ever actually follow Paleo myself, I want to at least be informed about it, to be able to talk knowledgeably and to form my own opinion about it.
Plus, I can’t help feeling that I might be missing out on some awesome nutrition and perfectly attainable great health just because I just don’t know enough about it.
Yes, I feel pretty healthy right now, doing what I’m doing (aka not a Paleo Perfect lifestyle). But as many of you know, when you’re interested in health, to the point where you obsessively seek out and consume information about it, healthy is no longer good enough. At that point, you’re after healthiest.
(I mean, even if you’re not into health, I’m guessing you feel the same way about the things you’re interested in.)
First of all, you have to check out Arsy’s blog—it’s really cute, and she’s really cute, and her daughter’s really cute, and I really want to buy her cookbook, which is entirely devoted to SLOW COOKER MEALS (aka my latest obsession).
(And yes, I realize that was way too many really’s in one sentence.)
So, the podcast was all about what Arsy did while she was pregnant, and how she feels her diet is largely responsible for the super healthy, mellow, non-picky (liver-loving) daughter she has now. (I’m not sure how I feel about the mellow thing…I can’t help but wonder if she’d be saying the same thing if she’d had a boy!)
She talked about eating all the “traditional” foods, along with lots of meat, eggs (especially yolks), and raw milk (which most OBs would shudder to hear). She talked about consuming bone broth and cod liver oil every day like that was the most obvious thing in the world to do.
And I was left thinking: Oh. No.
Now I have to research the crap out of this, and start reading new blogs, and try making new things, and basically try to wrap my head around all this new information in order to figure out Where I Stand.
(Random picture break, because this post needs some pictures. This is another one from that fitness photo shoot.)
Why all the obsessive knowledge hunger?
Well…I’m hesitant to even tell you. I know some people are going to think I sound totally ridiculous.
But this is something that weighs heavily on my heart and mind—as much as I wish it didn’t—and this blog is nothing if not a place for me to unload.
If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know that my son has multiple severe food allergies (10 and counting). For better or for worse, I’ve spent the last year since he was diagnosed wondering:
—Was it something I did or didn’t do while pregnant? (Not in a guilty, woe is me, it’s-all-my-fault way, but in a genuinely curious “could I have done something better?” way.)
—Is there something I could do to help him get rid of the allergies? (I’ve researched the crap out of this and have some theories about it. I don’t expect miracles, but I don’t thing it’s completely out of the question either…)
I’m also starting to think about about what I’d like to do differently with my next pregnancy (God willing that there is one). How “natural” should I go? Which nutrients are most important for baby’s development? What (if anything) can I do to optimize our chances of avoiding this allergy thing with future kids?
So that’s where I’m at right now.
Not quite ready to cook up a big hunk of liver for dinner tonight, but definitely interested in doing some more exploring on this and trying to figure out how it jives with my beliefs and my body’s metabolic tendencies.
The learning never ends, right?
Actually—side note—I was listening to a Jillian Michaels podcast the other day, and she was talking about how she felt like she’d “hit a wall with fitness and nutrition stuff.” Like, she’d learned everything she could possibly learn and couldn’t fathom anyone coming out with anything new or exciting, possibly ever again.
I can’t decide if that’s a blissful place to be, and something I aspire to, or a total fallacy. What do you think?
Is it possible to learn everything there is to know about health and fitness?
Do you eat any “traditional” (ie more obscure) Paleo foods?
Thoughts on Paleo in general?